Ethnography in Context

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Edited by: Dick Hobbs

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    • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd |
    • Publication Year: 2011 |
    • Online Publication Date: April 03, 2013 |
    • DOI: 10.4135/9781446261583 |
    • Print ISBN: 9781848600881 |
    • Online ISBN: 9781446261583 |
    • Series: SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Methods |
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Abstract

Ethnography is based on the assumption that every social group is distinctive in its own right, and to explore this distinction researchers must engage with the group on its own ground. This requires the ethnographer to adopt a role within the culture or social setting being studied that enables a smooth blending with the rules, codes and expectations of the locals and the researchers personal engagement with the subject is the key to understanding the setting.

Ethnography is an extremely broad church, and the range of methodological stances adopted by ethnographers extends across theoretical, political and technological divides. As a method it is intense and often makes considerable personal demands on the researcher, but as an academic product, the ethnography can be a vivid document with ...

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  • Editor's Introduction: Ethnography-Hidden Worlds
    DickHobbs

    Ethnographic research is a key tool for social scientists, and should be regarded as the cumulative product of a cocktail of methodologies featuring the assumption that the researchers personal engagement with the subject is the key to understanding a particular culture or social setting. Description is at the core of ethnography, and however this description is assembled, the purpose of the exercise is to tease out the meaning of social life from the everyday perspective of group members. Participant observation is the most common component of this cocktail, but interviews, conversational and discourse analysis, documentary analysis, film and photography, life histories all have their place in the ethnographers repertoire. Description resides at the core of ethnography, and however this description is ...

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